Land acquisition overview

In April, 2004, a small group of committed individuals set out to change the world. On seven acres of garden, field and forest, tucked into Tryon Creek State Park, they saw boundless possibility. And they planted the seed that would become Tryon Life Community Farm (TLC Farm), a sustainability education and demonstration center serving the Portland community. At the same time, on the same seven acres, Brownstone Homes, Inc. saw a 23-unit housing development. In fact, Brownstone Homes owned the rights to buy the land for $1.5 million dollars. Undeterred, the group of individuals that made up TLC Farm moved forward with their plans to open the land to the public as an education center and resource, trusting that the rightness of their vision would bring the necessary support.

Over less than two years, that effort grew into a city-wide grassroots movement embodying the determination to embody a future in which destructive development is not inevitable, and healing is a collective effort. With thousands of donors, hundreds of volunteers, dozens of partner organizations, and a helter-skelter race to the finish line, we all together saved this place! Following is an outline of the legal and financial structure that has resulted.

TLC Farm Land Acquisition & Financing Overview

  • Land Trust:
  • Title to the land is held by the Oregon Sustainable
    Agriculture Land Trust (OSALT), a state-wide land trust devoted to
    preserving rural and urban agriculture land for sustainable purposes.
    For more information, visit

  • Conservation Easement:
  • The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department
    manages conservation easements on a portion of the land nearest the
    State Park for watershed protection and restoration. These publicly-held
    easements are property interests in the land, which protect it in
    perpetuity from any kind of development. The City of Portland, Metro
    and the Friends of Tryon Creek State park have all contributed
    to the easements.

  • Ground Lease:
  • The remainder of the property is subject to a
    long-term ground lease that ensures that all activities on the property
    further the goals of sustainability research and education and watershed
    protection. Both TLC Farm's non-profit programs and the residential
    community on the land (Cedar Moon) will manage the land to further the
    charitable mission of OSALT. Cedar Moon members will also continue to
    volunteer for the TLC Farm non-profit.

  • Public Access:
  • The property is open to the public at least
    two days a week for drop in visits, as well as hosting numerous classes
    of students each week who will participate in TLC Farm's sustainability
    education program.

  • Financing the Acquisition: final tally
  • Uses
    Acquisition 1,425,000


    Option extra 93,000


    Total Uses 1,600,000

    Final Sources

      Monthly Payments
    ShoreBank Pacific (8.5%)


    Equity Trust (5%) 100,000 1,083
    Government funds for easements 400,000
    Private donations and grants


    Bridge loans 145,000
    Total Sources: 1,600,000 5,914

Personal bridge loans were crucial to our ability to fulfill the terms of the
purchase agreement in a timely manner; without them the entire deal may well have been
lost, or we may have been required to pay many tens of thousands of dollars more.
Our ongoing capital campaign is focused immediately on repaying those generous supporters
that made this deal possible, but who are not in a financial position to loan large sums
of money indefinitely.

Feedback and participation welcome! Please send bug reports to